It’s true – this really is The Best Lentil Soup you’ll ever make! It’s all whipped up in one pot with simple and inexpensive ingredients like fresh veggies, bold spices, and of course plenty of lentils. It’s a wonderfully thick soup that’s equal parts filling and flavorful!
Summer is oh so slowly fading away… Which means it’s time to start whipping out all of the best soup recipes! Cozy up with something warm, delicious, and vegan this fall and winter. Some of the best soup recipes include (but are certainly not limited to) Broccoli Cheddar Soup, Spicy Peanut Soup, and Instant Pot Tomato Soup!
The very best lentil soup
When it comes to Lentil Soups, they don’t get much more satisfying than this one! It’s a bare bones soup, meaning you won’t find any unnecessary frills or complicated steps here. It’s a classic recipe that’s the definition of tried and true!
With that being said, it’s also anything but bland. The medley of mouthwatering spices and mix of fresh veggies keep this thick Lentil Soup plenty flavorful. Oh, and that squeeze of fresh lemon juice right at the end is like the cherry on top!
What makes it the best?
- The ingredients are inexpensive! In fact, you likely already have the majority of these ingredients in your kitchen now. If you don’t, this recipe is a great excuse to start stockpiling all of your inexpensive cooking essentials!
- It’s so filling. The amount of protein-packed lentils and nutritious fresh veggies in this thick soup make it wonderfully filling! Trust me, this Lentil Soup always hits the spot and satisfies everyone around the table.
- The flavor is truly delicious! Smoked paprika, coriander, cumin, and just a touch of salt create a flavorful medley of spices that make this soup downright delicious. And since you’re making this soup at home, you can alter the spices however you see fit!
Ingredients needed (with substitutions)
- Olive Oil – Avocado oil can be used instead.
- Onion – Feel free to use a white or yellow onion, either one will work well.
- Garlic – Fresh garlic will yield the best flavor here.
- Carrots – When you chop them up, make sure they’re in small enough pieces to fit onto your spoon with the other ingredients.
- Celery – Rinse your celery with water and pat it dry before chopping. That way, there’s no dirt or residue still on it.
- Tomatoes – Use a can of either crushed or diced tomatoes. Either one will get the job done.
- Lentils – You can use green or brown lentils – whichever you prefer!
- Vegetable Broth – Use a low sodium vegetable broth for a less salty taste.
- Spices – You’ll need a medley of ground cumin, ground coriander, smoked paprika, and just a light sprinkle of salt to make this Lentil Soup supremely flavorful!
- Baby Spinach – Slice your spinach into ribbons so it’s easier to eat in your spoonfuls. Also, you can substitute this for kale if you’d like.
- Lemon – Make sure you’re using freshly squeezed lemon juice only – nothing from concentrate!
How to make lentil soup
Find the complete printable recipe with measurements below in the recipe card.
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring frequently for about 4-5 minutes.
Now add the can of tomatoes (with juices), lentils, vegetable broth, cumin, coriander and smoked paprika. Stir to incorporate everything.
Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes, until the lentils are tender and the soup has thickened. If desired, use an immersion blender to slightly blend and thicken it.
Stir in the spinach and lemon juice. It will only take a minute for the spinach to wilt. Season with salt to taste.
Frequently asked questions
- Can I change the consistency of Lentil Soup? Yep! For a thinner soup, simply add more water or vegetable broth until the desired consistency is reached. You can also blend it just a few times with an immersion blender for a slightly creamier soup.
- Can I freeze Lentil Soup? You sure can – and it freezes so well! In a freezer safe food storage container, your leftover Lentil Soup will stay fresh for up to 3 months. You can keep it in one large container or several small containers for individual portions.
- Can I swap the spinach for kale? Yes, just make sure that you cook the kale for about 10 minutes longer than you would the spinach so it’s nice and tender.
What to serve lentil soup with
I like to serve this hearty soup with some Dutch Oven Bread and perhaps a Vegan Caesar Salad.
Do you love lentils as much as I do?
Here are a few of my favorite recipes using lentils:
- The Best Lentil Salad
- Lentil Chili
- Vegan Lentil Loaf
- Lemon Lentil Soup
- Lentil Shepherd’s Pie
- Red Lentil Dahl
The Best Lentil Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 14- ounce can crushed or diced tomatoes
- 2 cups dry green or brown lentils
- 7 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 3 cups baby spinach, sliced into ribbons or kale
- 1 lemon, juiced (about 2 tablespoons)
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring frequently for about 4-5 minutes.
- Now add the can of tomatoes (with juices), lentils, vegetable broth, cumin, coriander and smoked paprika. Stir to incorporate everything.
- Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes, until the lentils are tender and the soup has thickened. For a creamier texture, use an immersion blender to blend a few times in the pot. Alternatively, add 1-2 cups of the soup to a regular blender, blend until smooth and then return to the pot.
- Stir in the spinach and lemon juice. It will only take a minute for the spinach to wilt. Season with salt to taste.
- For a thinner soup, simply add more water or vegetable broth until the desired consistency is reached.
- Leftover soup will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
- This soup freezes well. Either freeze in individual containers or a large container for quick future meals.
- May substitute kale for the spinach, but you will need to cook the kale in the soup about 10 more minutes to get it tender.
I love all of your recipes. Would you say this serving size is a half cup? Not sure, I trying to count calories. #veganfortheanimals
Hi Suzan. How wonderful that you are loving my recipes! There are 8 servings total, so about 1 1/2 cups of soup would be one serving. Thank you for sharing your wonderful feedback!
I made this soup for the second time this weekend. I doubled the recipe, shared with my elderly neighbor and froze the rest in single servings. I am by no means Vegan or vegarian but this is a wonderful recipe and I will continue to make! Thank you!
You are welcome, Lisa! I am thrilled you are loving the soup! I love that you shared with your neighbor! Thanks for sharing your wonderful feedback!
Super great taste, lemon juice adds a nice flavor!! Will definitely be making this one again!!! Thank you!!
You are welcome! How wonderful that you loved the soup! Thank you for your great feedback and review!
Truly delicious! This recipe goes in the ‘Vegan Favorites’ section of my recipe file. Thank you so much for such a flavorful healthy recipe.
You are welcome! How awesome that you are loving the soup, and adding it to your favorite recipes! Thanks for your wonderful feedback and review!
Absolutely loved this soup! Another amazing Nora Cooks recipe! Thank you!
Thanks for your fabulous feedback and review!
I made this soup for a small grief group I led today & it was perfect: comforting, nourishing & delicious.
I blended about half the soup to make it extra creamy.
You are welcome, Trish! It’s wonderful that the soup was comforting! Thank you for sharing your fantastic feedback and review!
This is amazing soup my family asks me to cook it often!
I am thrilled your family is loving the soup! Thank you for sharing your wonderful feedback!
I’ve made this soup many times, the lemon makes it really mmm but sometimes i’ve forgotten it or didn’t have lemon juice and used a gentle vinegar and it’s delicious too. If i’m in the mood I chop turkey kielbasa into it. It’s my favorite soup.
I am so glad to hear you are loving the soup! Thank so much for your terrific feedback and review!
This is the best lentil soup recipe, period. My grandma made it exactly like this, so did my mom and I have been making it for over 50 years. From time to time, now and then I stray and try other variations (With chicken broth, curries, other vegetables etc. Reason why I clicked on this site) let me save you time and money…don’t. Tried and true, this is the best version of a lentil soup recipe there is, from high mountain to the shores of every sea, from the frozen Arctic tundra to the Giza plateau and beyond you have found the treasure you seek right here.
I LOVE this recipe. I did a few substitutions for the spices bc I didn’t have all the ingredients but I followed pretty much everything and it was great. I’m not eating meat, sugars or anything with additives so instead of canned tomatoes, I roasted vine tomatoes in the oven and then blended them for the same effect. Your tip for blending two cups of the soup and then pouring it back into the pot was genius! That helped the creaminess come through and was just what I needed to elevate the soup. It was great.
Hi Cassie. I’m thrilled to know the soup worked for you, and that you loved it! Your roasted tomatoes sound so delicious! Thanks for sharing your terrific feedback! Wishing you happy cooking!
Hi Nora, Can I substitute yellow lentils in this recipe?
(We absolutely love your site for your baked goods and are venturing into your savoury offerings. Thank you for the no-fail recipes that always impress even the biggest meat eaters we know)
Hi Sara. I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying my baking recipes! Thank you for sharing that wonderful feedback! How great you are venturing into my savoury recipes! Yellow lentils are softer and cook faster. When cooked, I’m sure the soup will be a bit smoother than the original, but that’s fine. 🙂 Enjoy!
Excellent soup! I don’t eat tomatoes and left them out. It was still delicious and easy to make. Thank you!
You are welcome! I’m really happy to hear that you enjoyed the soup! Thank you for sharing your wonderful feedback!
This is indeed the best lentil soup!!!!
Made exactly as indicated with no substitutions. Well balanced and flavourful.
Some individuals skipped dessert to have another bowl of soup!
Well done Nora! Thank you.
Skipping dessert for another bowl of soup is a compliment indeed! Thank you for sharing your fabulous feedback! I’m so happy the lentil soup was a hit!
Desperately looking for meals my 20 month old will eat and he loved this. Thank you so much. I just omitted the salt for him. Thanks again
Nora I had no idea how developed your website is until this last hour. Fantastic job!!!
I watched this recipe on your YouTube channel. Have to say, I fully support your decision to focus your time elsewhere. Producing videos is incredibly time-consuming.
Anyway, I am an omnivore, which means some meals are vegan, some are vegetarian, some are neither. Your website has an abundance of excellent vegan ideas and you do a great, great job making them simple.
It’s cold where I am in the Midwest. Perfect time for a soup like this. Love the idea of using an immersion blender to thicken it up naturally. Great call!
I subscribed a few minutes ago, Nora. Congratulations on the success of your website!! It sure is a good thing for us!
Made this today, great addition to my vegan recipes! Very delicious 😋
Thank You Nora for sharing your healthy and yummy recipes !!
Hi Margit. You are welcome! I appreciate you using my recipes! I’m thrilled this is now part of your recipes! Thanks for your wonderful feedback and review!
I get your weekly Email recipes! I eagerly wait for them. I have learned a lot from you and your dishes since I Chose a vegan lifestyle! Thank you 😊
I have tried cooking lentils before but it didn’t come out to well. This recipe was so good and I have finally found a way to add this healthy food to our diet.
Hi Tanya. I’m thrilled you loved the soup, and that it will be added to your meal rotation! Thank you for sharing your great feedback!
Made this today. It is delicious! Thank You for all of the recipes you share!
Hi Chris. You are welcome! Thanks for your feedback! I’m so glad you loved the soup!
Great recipe!!! Threw in a fat sweet potato for good measure. 😋
Great recipe! Easy to make and delicious. The lemon adds a nice touch!
You are welcome, Marie! I love delicious and easy! Thank you for your positive feedback and review!
I’m feeling sick so this was perfect!! So earthy and delicious. Next time I’ll add sliced avocados on top. Thank you for this one, will add it to my recipe rotation 💕
I’ll trust you on that, Ivett! I’m really glad you loved the soup! It will be so good with avocado! Thank you for sharing your feedback!
So good! Everything I wanted on this chilly Fall night. I used to love the lentil soup at Carrabbas before I went vegan, so
I added some browned impossible spicy sausage at the end with the spinach. Then sprinkled follow your heart parmesan on top. Amazing! Thank you for another incredible recipe
Hi Sonya. Oh wow, your soup sounds amazing with your additions! I am so glad my recipe inspired you! Thanks or your amazing feedback and ideas!
Fabulous soup recipe! Thank you,! Absolutely delicious on a cool autumn evening!
Oh yes, fall evenings = soups! I’m happy you loved the lentil soup! Thank you for sharing your positive feedback and review!
Delicious! I will definitely make this again.
Thanks for sharing your wonderful review! Glad you loved the soup!
I’ll add this to my regular dinner list. Definitely will make again.